Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched its first smartphone Fire Phone on Wednesday. The phone boasts of a 3D interface. The big question is: are its unique features enough to prompt consumers to switch to Fire Phone? Let’s take a look at how Amazon’s device stands up against the current smartphone king iPhone 5S.
Size & weight
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Fire Phone has a length of 139mm, width of 66mm and thickness of 8.9mm. In contrast, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5S measures 124mm, 59mm and 7.6mm, respectively. That means the Fire Phone 12% longer and 12% wider than the iPhone 5S. But Apple’s device is 15% thinner than Amazon’s gadget. With 160g weight, the Fire Phone is 43% heavier than 5S’ 112g.
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Display size & resolution
The Fire Phone’s display isn’t as big as many Android devices in the market. But it still measures 4.7-inch. The iPhone 5S sports a 4-inch display. The Fire Phone’s 1280×720 resolution with 315ppi should look quite sharp. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5S offers a resolution of 1136×640 with 326ppi.
Build & colors
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Fire Phone is a bit surprising in one aspect. As other smartphone makers are moving away from glass backs, the online retailer launched its device with glass back, revisiting the old trend. The iPhone 5S comes with aluminum back panel. Amazon’s smartphone is available only in black color, compared to gold, silver and space gray colors for the iPhone 5S.
This is the USP of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s new phone. The Fire Phone has a glasses-free 3D screen. It has four front-facing cameras on each corner of the device that adjust the position of the content on display based on the position of user’s eyes. The iPhone 5S doesn’t have this feature.
Fingerprint sensor & camera
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s TouchID fingerprint sensor set a new trend in the smartphone industry that rivals have slowly started adopting. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) didn’t try to compete with the iPhone 5S in this space. The Fire Phone has a 13MP main camera and 2.1MP front shooter, while the iPhone 5S sports 8MP rear camera and 1.2MP front camera.
On-device tech support
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) already offered the on-device customer support chat with the latest Kindle Fires. And the company took it to Fire Phone as well. Just tap on the Mayday button and a company representative will show up on your screen to chat with you.
Processor & storage
The Fire Phone is equipped with quad-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon processor. It has two storage options of 32GB and 64GB, and no microSD support. The Fire Phone also boasts of 2GB RAM. On the other hand, the iPhone 5S comes with dual-core 1.3GHz A7 processor and 1GB RAM. Apple’s device has three storage options, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
Amazon Fire Phone vs. iPhone 5S: Battery
The Fire Phone’s battery is 53% bigger than that of the iPhone 5S. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s device has 2,400mAh battery compared to 1,570mAh in the 5S. Anyway, battery capacity doesn’t really tell much about the battery life.
This is the biggest surprise. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has priced its device at $650 off contract. It used to sell its tablets at around the manufacturing cost, in an attempt to profit off the digital content people buy using those devices. The $650 price tag puts it in the range of well-established premium rivals like Galaxy S5, iPhone 5S and HTC M8.
As we can see, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Fire Phone has a lot of bells and whistles to fetch people’s attention. Early reviewers say many of those features are more gimmicky than useful. So, the question is whether these features are enough to turn lookers into buyers, not to mention the relatively high price tag. Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said that the Fire Phone ups the ante, but it’s not revolutionary enough for people to drop their smartphones and go buy it. Perhaps that’s why Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian J. White said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to be unfazed by the Fire Phone.